Hints & Tips
With May almost here, many of us will be looking forward to getting away from it all on the month's two bank holidays.
If the weather obliges – and even if it doesn't – people up and down the country will hit the road in search of some well-earned rest and relaxation.
As bank holidays are often synonymous with traffic jams, you might decide to spend your time in the garden instead. But if you fancy venturing further afield, MowDirect has some suggestions for more unusual and exotic days out.
Gardeners who are fond of gnomes might want to pay a visit to Gnome Magic in Colchester, Essex. A gnome-lover's paradise, there are now over 800 diminutive denizens waiting to be paid a visit.
As well as featuring one and a half acres of gardens, with, azalea, clematis and iron woods, there is a gnome woodland, which contains a lake where you might spot some fishing gnomes.
Alternatively, if you fancy travelling to Italy but don't fancy shelling out on the plane fare, you should consider paying a visit to the village of Portmeirion in Wales.
The village, which was designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, was modelled on the town of Portofino in Italy.
Granted, you might not be guaranteed the Mediterranean sunshine and cuisine, but you will be able to enjoy some fine Italian architecture.
There are plenty of gardens nearby, featuring rhododendron, azalea and camellia plantings, as well as several other varieties – many of which are exotic species, which thrive in the mild climate.
With a bit of imagination, as you wander round clutching a Cornetto, you could pretend you're abroad without having set foot outside the UK.
If you have children, keeping them amused is always a challenge during bank holiday weekends. It's easier if the weather's fine and they can head outdoors – but even then, it can be hard to keep them entertained.
The Forbidden Corner in the Yorkshire Dales is a great family day out that will help to keep the little ones happy.
Set within a four acre garden in Tupgill Park, a labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises will provide you with hours of puzzles and challenges.
There's also a herb garden and a park where you'll be able to watch red deer as a relaxing break from all the adventure.
If you're in the south of England, Bekonscot model village and railway would be well worth a visit. It's the world's oldest model village, opening for the first time way back in 1929.
The village offers a fascinating insight into the way England used to be, with 1.5 acres of well-kept gardens and finely detailed model buildings.
Bekonscot's outdoor railway runs for ten miles, making it one of the largest public garden railways in the UK.
Originally created by Beaconsfield resident Roland Callingham, the attraction has been run by the Church Army since 1978 and has raised large sums of money for charity.
We've hopefully given you some inspiration for getting outdoors and enjoying what the UK has to offer on those bank holiday weekends. Now all we need is for the weather to stay fine! Fingers crossed.